National Age Group Champs, Sheffield

Four young athletes made the journey north to compete in these championships.

Sidnie Ward, the reigning South of England and Essex Champ over 800m for Under 17 Men, ran a superb tactical race in his heat on the Saturday to claim first place and automatic qualification into the final. Sidnie sat at the back of the pack until the third lap. He then took closer order and with 200m to run he made a break to coast home in a new PB of 1 mins 59.7secs.

Zahara Malcolm and Sidnie Ward

In the final the next day the race was at a much quicker pace and Sidnie managed to keep in touch so that, with 200m to run, there was just four runners left. Down the home straight Sidnie just edged past the Edinburgh runner Ewing to claim a magnificent bronze medal in a lifetime best of 1 mins 56.73secs.

Zahara Malcolm (photo above with Sidnie) toed the line in the Under 15 Girls heats and her race was a tactical affair with two Hallamshire girls trying to control the pace. On the final lap the pace quickened and Zahara just nabbed the second automatic qualifying place for a place in the final in 2 mins 22.6secs. The final was at a very fast pace as all six girls travelled through 400m in 64/65 seconds, not a bad time for a straight 400m. Zahara gave everything she could on the latter stages and passed the Sale athlete on the last 60 metres to place 5th in 2 mins 22.7secs.

We had two Under 15 athletes in the 60 metres and both, Shona Vincent and Aiden Fernando, should be congratulated on making the semi finals in their first major championships. Aiden was 5th in his heat in 7.96secs and 5th in the semi final in 7.74secs. Meanwhile Shona ran 8.28secs for 3rd in her heat and 8.29secs for 8th in the semi final.

All four athletes will have gained from the experience of competing in these championships as they now go outdoors and try and qualify for this summers English Schools Championships in Birmingham.